Second, this has become a long post, so hang in there.
It seems that our society is starting to recognize the seriousness and importance of mental health disorders. Unfortunately, we still have a long way to go to reduce the stigma associated with mental health disorders and increase awareness of proper screenings, diagnoses and treatments. These are real issues with natural causes. They are "real illnesses" of the brain just as the flu, pneumonia and cancer are "real illnesses" of the body. OK, soap box moment over.
During Mental Health Monday, I plan to talk about the psychological components of running and athletics in general. But I will also talk about mental health topics as they relate to everyday living.
The first topic I want to talk about is Post Marathon Depression, as I am really experiencing post race blues right now. Everyone expects to be sore and exhausted in the days following a marathon, or any other endurance race. But no one thinks about how the race with effect you psychologically after you've crossed the finish line. We spend so much time and energy focusing on our goal. Our lives become so focused on our training to the exclusion of other things in life such as family, friends and other hobbies. But now, the race is over, the adrenaline and endorphins are gone and we don't know what to do with ourselves.
There is a lot of information and advice out there about how to "combat" the post race blues. Just google "post marathon depression" and you will find a lot of articles on the topic. So instead of summarizing the common advice, I will highlight my personal game plan to pull myself out of this post-race funk.
Pink Sugar Running Shoes' Personal Post Marathon Depression Rx:
- Spend time with my amazing boyfriend.
- Plan more lunch and dinner dates with friends.
- Enjoy some yummy foods I cut out during training.
- Set new race goals - Boston 2015!
- Try new cross training workouts - Walking while my body recovers, spinning when the soreness start to subside and strength training.
- Read some books I have been wanting to read for a while, running related and girly novels!
- Write that darn Masters Thesis that has been hanging over my head all year.
- Weekly appointments with my therapist.
- And most importantly, be kind to myself!
Here are some of the articles I have read over the last 24 hours:
Runningfit.com - Post Marathon Depression
Livestrong.com - Post marathon or triathlon depression
The Marathon Aftermath
*Disclaimer* - I am not a mental health professional or clinician. The thoughts in this blog post are my own opinions. If you are struggling with a mental health illness, I urge you to seek professional help.